We all know that awful feeling of waking up and realizing you’ve slept through your alarm. For most people, it’s something that may happen once in a blue moon. It could be due to staying up too late watching TV or taking medication for an illness. But when it starts to occur more frequently, it’s important to get to the root of the problem with a sleep consultation.
When you’re chronically sleeping through your alarm, the cause may be a disorder of your internal body clock—or circadian rhythm. It may be a good idea to speak visit with a sleep specialist for a sleep consultation. A sleep consultation with a sleep specialist can help diagnose an underlying sleep disorder. Here are some of the common sleep disorders that impact the circadian rhythm and could be causing you to sleep through your alarm.
Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD)
Advanced sleep phase disorder is a condition where people feel sleepy early in the evening and find it difficult to stay awake. Because of this, they often go to bed unusually early and then wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Once they awaken, they suffer from early morning insomnia. If they do finally fall back asleep, they may end up sleeping through the alarm. ASPD affects the circadian rhythm, which tends to speed up as we age. This is why the disorder often affects elderly individuals. A sleep consultation can help confirm ASPD.
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)
Delayed sleep phase syndrome is a disorder that causes a person’s sleep to be delayed by several hours past the conventional bedtime. The delay in falling asleep can make it extremely difficult to wake up at the desired time. People with DSPS are often considered “night owls”, and habitually go to bed much later than what’s socially considered normal. They don’t feel tired until very late and have trouble falling asleep and waking early, and may sleep through their alarm.
Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm
With irregular sleep-wake rhythm, a person’s sleep and wake patterns are disorganized and varied over a 24-hour period. This chronic condition causes sleep to be broken up into short periods at night and long naps in the daytime. Contact a sleep specialist near you for a sleep consultation if you think this type of broken up sleep is causing you to sleep through the alarm.
Jet Lag Disorder
Jet lag is a condition that occurs when you travel across time zones. It can especially impact your circadian rhythm when traveling over two or more time zones. It creates a misalignment of the body’s internal clock and the external environment of the new time zone. This can cause sleepiness, insomnia and may make you more likely to sleep through your alarm.
Shift-Work Sleep Disorder
People who work nights or rotating shifts often struggle with shift-work disorder. This circadian rhythm disorder is characterized by excessive sleepiness and insomnia. When your work hours overlap the normal sleep period, it can be difficult to adjust and can be hard to wake up for the alarm.
Is It Time for a Sleep Consultation?
If you’re finding yourself sleeping through your alarm on an increasingly frequent basis, it’s time to see a doctor. The sleep specialists at Jacksonville Sleep Center can help you get to the root of the problem. A sleep consultation is one way of diagnosing an underlying sleep disorder, which could be what’s causing you to miss that alarm. Contact us today to learn more.